The Hacker: I'm lowest of low but bottle of Scotch means glass is half full

By Peter Corrigan

You may wonder why, after the most calamitous round of my golfing life, I was crowned last weekend as Top Centurion and presented with a prize of a bottle of Scotch and a dozen balls. Actually, Top Centurion doesn't sound a bad title to carry through the winter. Shame that it also carries the ignominy of being the lowest of the low, worst of the worst.

As a consolation for our sufferings, all those at our club who have failed to break 100 in a medal at least once in the year are invited to play in the Centurions competition.

It sounds like a celebration of failure, but it is much more than that. It is the final chance to make amends in the company of those who have shared your disappointment.

Over 150 qualified, which was a surprising 60 per cent of the total medal entrants, and not everyone was happy at being identified as a ton-up boy. Indeed, some objected to the list of qualifiers being pinned to the noticeboard. So to protect their feelings, it wasn't.

However, 57 who had the courage to face up to their shortcomings turned up to contest the least coveted tournament of the year.

When the Centurions began eight or nine years ago, it was mooted that we should give additional prizes, such as shortest drive and furthest away from the pin, but we stuck to two main awards: the best and the worst cards.

Leon, a 10-handicapper, won the event with a net 70 after a countback. There was no need for a countback at the other end of the scale. My wretched 122 was 11 shots adrift of the next contender who, when he heard there had been a bottle of Scotch on offer, cursed that he didn'tplay worse.

He would have had a job. I committed every boob in the book. My playing companions, Howard and Geoff, watched with bemused embarrassment as I produced a performance which, even with my history of horrors, I can't explain.

I won't bore you with the details, but it was a catalogue of mishaps and misadventures more reminiscent of an Indiana Jones film than the account of a golf round.

After they had finished mocking my score, some reckoned I bring pressure on myself by continually writing about my attempts to break 100. And I have to agree that it has become such a psychological barrier that it attacks my central nervous system. I'm beaten before I start.

It is even affecting my fellow members who never used to worry about breaking 100 before the Centurions competition was introduced. Now they claim the fear of it is affecting their game. But I will not shrink from mental fight. I must achieve this breakthrough, because I believe the duty of every golfer is to improve. As in life, it is not enough to accept the frailties that God in His wisdom has visited upon us. We must conquer our deficiencies.

I know that fellow hackers take succour from knowing they are not alone in their struggles. But we must offer more than mere comfort, and I shall spend the winter searching for a way out ofour predicament.

I shall leave no stone unturned, especially if my ball is underneath it.



News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home